Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Greetings from Arizona

(I'm not even kidding.)
Ken gave in and bought a new winter coat as he has been the front line for jobs like brushing snow off the car in the morning.
But let me back up. We left Calgary on the 18th and spent the night in Lethbridge. After a breakfast of pancakes we headed to Idaho and enjoyed dry roads all the way to Idaho Falls. We crashed at the Thomsons and had a fun evening with 3rd cousins - Jaclyn and Steven finally got to watch Strange Brew. Ken and I had thus far failed them in immersing them in Canadian culture, we're glad our American relatives corrected us. (Eh.)
Monday morning we woke up in Provo. We'd booked a tour of BYU for Jaclyn which Ken wanted to be the parent for, so I stayed back at the hotel. All I asked is that Ken get a picture of Jaclyn on the tour. (I may have begged.) This is what I got:

But I'm over it. Totally.
Monday afternoon we headed east to Moab. Ken has done a lot of slick rock biking in Moab with his friends and the rest of us were excited to see the area. The forecast was for colder temperatures so we left our bikes at home and planned to do some hiking in Arches National Park.
When we pulled into town our first stop was Poison Spider Bicycles. In a conversation with the guy behind the counter Ken found out that snow was in the forecast for the next day. It was already late in the afternoon and we didn't have much sunlight left, but we immediately turned around and drove up to Arches.

It was gorgeous. And when the snowstorm blew in and kept us indoors the next day we were so glad that we seized the day and explored what we could while we could.

We had planned on spending 2 nights in Moab (if the weather had only been slightly better) but with a blizzard we traded in our 2 nights x 3 beds for 1 night x 2 rooms with 3 beds each. Everyone had their own beds, even Ken and I. Ken shared with Jaclyn and Steven who stay up late while I shared with Carmen and Chloe. My room got 12 full hours of sleep! Now this was starting to feel like a holiday.
We continued to pull the snow south with us to Holbrook and spent the night at a Holiday Inn Express. There is such a comfort in national chains when you are on the road. Hampton, Holiday Inn, McDonalds. And I don't eat at McDonalds at home! But I sure like their breakfast parfaits when I'm on the road. Oh, the Bowen Motel in Moab wasn't a chain. I forgot to mention what a good sport I am staying in the cheap motel the biking brothers use when they aren't camping in Moab. I'm a real champ.
Our snow tires were well used far past Holbrook. The kids could probably tell you where - they were constantly passing the atlas around and studying our progress. I took video of our drive, but I can't load it onto Ken's work laptop but I have video of 10 seconds of the worst roads we saw in 1800 miles, just north of the Arizona border.

Now, Ken loves a road trip and Salt River Canyon was exactly the kind of of experience that makes us glad to drive rather than fly. It was breathtaking. Carmen says it reminds her of Peru (at least pictures of Peru) and Steven says that it looks just like the Mediterranean race in some sort of car-racing X-Box game he owns (I know, I'm so in touch with Steven's gaming.)

I'm sorry to all my friends in the Phoenix area that I failed to bring them a white Christmas. We tried so hard and came so close. The cacti welcomed us in, and now we are enjoying the sun we hoped for from this holiday. I went for a run this morning! Why oh why do I have to wait for retirement before I can be a snowbird?


Marie said...

With the title of the post and the first picture I thought you'd encountered a blip in the Arizona weather and caught some winter.

Looks like a busy and enjoyable roadtrip so far. Have a great time!

Merry Christmas!

Jill said...

I'm glad you made it to Arizona safely, traveling in the winter can be so frightening.

I'll be looking forward to more Arizona posts from you, eh!

Barb said...

Marie: We did find snowy weather in Arizona, just not in Phoenix. Sorry to be confusing!

Denise said...

Ooh, what is the name of the three-bed hotel? That's exactly what we need for our family!

Tiffany said...

Hey--I know that drive! I hope you have a wonderful Arizona Christmas.

(We had an Elder Payne from Calgary over to share Christmas eve dinner tonight so I thought of you!)

michelle said...

Too funny about your American relatives giving the kids an education about Canadian culture!

I don't mind road trips, but I get nervous when the roads are snowy and icy.

The hotel with everyone having his or her own bed sounds divine! 12 hours!